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Glenrothes MSP welcomes double payment for unpaid carers
Scottish Government Bill to provide extra cash for Carer’s Allowance recipients
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has welcomed Scottish Government plans to pay thousands of unpaid carers a double payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement this winter.
The move recognises the additional pressure carers and their families are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
If approved by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, the Bill will mean more than 91,000 carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance Supplement will receive an extra £231.40, doubling their December payment to £462.80.
This extra investment, forecast to be £21 million, will be the second time the Scottish Government has doubled the Carer’s Allowance Supplement.
The Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill, is a priority for action within the first 100 days of the re-elected SNP Scottish Government. It will also give Ministers powers to provide eligible carers with additional financial support in future if the need arises.
Welcoming the plans, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“I’m always in awe of our carers who work so hard to look after others, often alongside other commitments. All of our carers have faced additional pressures during the pandemic, so I’m pleased that a re-elected SNP Government is delivering on its commitment to provide a double payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement this winter.
“Importantly, the proposed legislation also allows for further support to be given to eligible carers should the need arise as we continue to fight back against Covid-19.
“The creation of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement demonstrated the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a fairer system for social security: one that affords carers the dignity and respect they are due as a result of their selfless dedication.
“I’ll be voting for the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill after the summer recess and I strongly encourage MSPs of all parties to do likewise so can get more money into the pockets of our carers.”
Scottish Government Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said:
“Unpaid carers provide essential support to family, friends and neighbours. Their roles have been even more important during the pandemic, with many taking on additional tasks and facing higher costs of looking after people staying at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Scottish Government is grateful to all carers for their dedication during this most difficult of times.
“We introduced the Carer’s Allowance Supplement in 2018 in recognition of the vital role unpaid carers play in our society, and because the UK Government’s Carer’s Allowance is the lowest of all working age benefits. The supplement, paid twice a year, is only available in Scotland and has already helped thousands of carers in recent years.
“Like we did last year, this December we want to provide a double supplement of £462.80 to support unpaid carers with the additional pressures they’ve experienced because of the pandemic. This will benefit carers on low incomes who already have some of the most intense caring roles. This financial assistance adds to the other ways we are helping unpaid carers, who can also access support through their local carer centres, such as information, advice, counselling and advocacy services.”
The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is paid twice a year to carers who are living in Scotland and receive Carer’s Allowance on specified qualifying dates. The qualifying date for the December 2021 double payment is 11 October 2021.
To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, and therefore the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, you must be providing 35 hours or more of care per week. Recipients can only earn up to £128 a week, after deductions, through paid work.
The person the carer looks after must be in receipt of one or more of the following disability benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment - daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
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